Wondering what caused Abel Tasman’s off-the-board finish Sunday as an odds-on favorite in the Grade 1, $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes? So are her connections.
Trainer Bob Baffert told the Daily Racing Form on Monday that the 4-year-old filly underwent a routine blood test, and that the barn is awaiting results.
“Physically, she’s fine,” Baffert told DRF, but he added that Abel Tasman’s temperature was elevated and that, “I think she’s fighting something off.”
Still a prospect for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff — she has a fees-paid berth via wins in the Ogden Phipps (G1) and Personal Ensign (G1) — Abel Tasman was slow from the gate on her way to a fifth-place finish in the Zenyatta field of six.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith speculated after the race that the daughter of Quality Road may have come down with a virus going around the backside. Baffert confirmed with DRF that Mother Mother, a scratch from Saturday’s Chandelier Stakes (G1), was hit with the bug as well.
With Abel Tasman’s flop as a 1-10 favorite in the Zenyatta, the “other” Baffert contender, Vale Dori, prevailed to earn her own trip to the Distaff.
Hall of Fame Jockey Mike Smith takes us through his trip aboard Abel Tasman in this afternoon's Zenyatta Stakes @SantaAnitaPark. Hear what he has to say about her performance: pic.twitter.com/TLji1owdky— TVG (@TVG) September 30, 2018